Thick and Creamy Clam Chowder
We just returned from a spring break trip to the Oregon Coast. The weather was mostly cold, although we did have two sunny days! We didn't mind because we missed the snow storms that hit back home and we ate lots of clam chowder wherever we went!
Besides eating lots of clam chowder, we also flew kites, the boys skim boarded in the waves and we went clamming for Purple Vanish Clams. The clamming itself wasn't difficult, but these are clams that need to be cleaned and that was very time consuming. We had a lot of clams since the limit is 72 clams per person per day.
Rod asked if I wanted to go clamming for a second day. I told him to clean a bucket of clams and then let me know what he thought. Needless to say we didn't go out again!
We had plenty of clams to bring home and plenty to make clam chowder with!
What ingredients do I need to make clam chowder?
- chicken broth
- clam juice
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- half and half (cream)
All of this fresh deliciousness was turned into a delicious pot of Clam Chowder! I used fresh clams, but you could easily use canned clams too. Use whatever is available for you.
How do I use purple varnish clams?
To use fresh purple varnish clams, you need to first soak them in salt water overnight. This helps remove extra sand. In the morning boil a pot of water and add the clams. They will immediately begin popping open. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water. Next you remove the meat from the shell and clean 'em.
My understanding is each type of clam has it's own cleaning methods. If you are using a different type of fresh clam, you will want to see how they should be cleaned.
My recipe calls for clam juice. You can either buy bottled clam juice or use the liquid from your steamed clams. I did not save the juice from my clams. Since we were on vacation, I didn't want to transport liquid back home with me.
We love foraging for food. We have also fished for Walleye and made Beer Battered Fish, and Pan Fried Walleye. Check it out and let me know what you think!
More Soup Recipes to Try:
Enchilada Soup – All the wonderful flavors of enchiladas in a soup!
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – The name says it all!
Cheesy Broccoli Soup – Yummy broccoli with cheddar cheese.
Creamy Tomato Soup – Perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Corn Chowder – Perfect for lunch or dinner anytime of the year.
White Chicken Chili – A delicious bowl of chili.
Creamy Potato Soup - Filled with potatoes and topped with bacon.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram #beyondthechickencoop
- 4 slices bacon (cut into small pieces)
- 1 cup onion (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup celery (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups clam juice
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 red potatoes (cut into ½" cubes)
- 1 cup clams (chopped)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup half-n-half
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup crispy bacon bits
- fresh chopped parsley
- oyster crackers
- In a large soup pot, cook bacon until nearly crispy. Add onions and celery. Continue cooking until onions are soft.
- Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in chicken broth. Add clam juice, bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Add chopped potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. Stir every few minutes to avoid scorching. If mixture becomes too thick, add ½ cup water.
- Stir in clams, milk and half-n-half. Heat to a simmer. Do not bring to a boil. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve with additional bacon bits, fresh parsley and oyster crackers.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
I would love to try this. I have heard of clam chowder before, but never had any, problem is I have never seen clams in my life, they are not something I can get around here... 🙁 But I would love them, I am pretty sure, I love seafood.
Nicoletta Sugarlovespices says
Oh, to have a bowl of that delicious clam chowder made with fresh clams! It looks amazing, so creamy and thick and with nice chunks. Such a great experience -even if tiresome- to go clamming! Lovely trip, hurray for the 2 sunny days!! 🙂
We just haven't been having a great spring so the sunshine was very welcomed!
My husband will be a very happy guy when I surprise him with a pot of this!! Your trip sounds amazing!
We had a great time! The homemade clam chowder was a great end to it all!
David @ Spiced says
What an awesome experience! I have never been clamming before, and now I want to put it on my list of things to do. I'm also laughing at the idea of bringing the clam liquid back with you. "No, officer, that's just my clam steaming liquid." Haha! Seriously, though, I love this post and I love that you included the clamming photos. I've never made a good clam chowder, and I definitely need to fix that soon. Glad you had fun out on vacation!
I'm ready to go back and do it all again!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Glad y'all had a great trip Kathy, and had fun clamming! This chowder looks awesome and it's one of our favorites!
It just doesn't get much better than a delicious bowl of clam chowder!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
How cool is that that you picked your own clams?! I make seafood chowder regularly, but have never made clam chowder! Looks like something I'd love to try! Considering that's it snowed and then rained today, a bowl of comfort food is in order 😉 Hope you're having a lovely weekend 🙂